Originally Posted by Wolfpack43ACC
I'm still laughing at how some of you can say tournaments are luck fests. They require skill just like any form of poker, and if you can master than skill you can be profitable in em. Some of you are laughable. I understand you like whatever game you play, but saying that all poker tournament are luck fests is a complete joke. Why do pros bother playing in them if they were luck fests and required no skill? Just stupid talk on here sometimes. It's ok to have an opinion, but don't just have a 1 sentence response. Add some substance. When someone says tournaments are luckfests all I hear is I suck at MTT's.
As belgo pointed out, in the extreme short run poker is mostly luck. There is still plenty of variance in a 30k hand stretch of cash poker; however, that is probably more long term compared to say even 500 MTTs.
Sure there is alot of skill involved in an MTT, although it is alot easier to "solve" the game than in cash (although more difficult than SnGs) because so much of it involves preflop range decisions and you only tend to be able to put action in on say 2 streets postflop unless you happen to be quite deep.
But back to the "luckfest". You have to go super deep to really make an MTT worthwhile and unless it is a big tourn that means final table. Due to the short stack nature of MTTs, you are forced to take alot more flips and marginal all in situations than in cash, which greatly increases variance (which can loosely be interpretted as luck in this context). There is also the aspect of the huge disparity between the chip value and monetary value of key hands in MTTs. If you lose a flip when you have 3000 chips it is still the same amount of luck as losing a 5000000 chip pot in % terms, however, clearly there is a huge disparity in chip value, and also a huge disparity in monetary value, as had you won your equity in the prizepool would have been significantly improved. All this increases variance, and therefore the illusion (or actuality) of luck being a major player.
None of this is present in cash. Sure you could lose a pot while 200bb+ deep compared to when 100bb deep, however the money value and chip value stays extremely close for all "flips" or all in EV or whatever.
In order to go deep in an MTT you have to run very good the entire time, as it can only take one or two hands to cripple you. You have to get good cards, you have to get good setups, etc. Therefore, in order to reach the long term in MTTs, you need a huge sample size, because the role luck plays in an individual game (although sure it will equal out over a huge sample of similarily stake games) is quite significant. The difference in coming 12th instead of 2nd in a 1000 person MTT isn't that much at all - it might simply have been one lost flip. The player might have done all they could and it was just one or two hands that didn't go there way that resulted in the HUGE disparity in payout between coming 12th and 2nd. It takes a long time for things like this to even out.
All poker is largely luck over the short term and the nature of MTTs mean that the long term takes alot longer to reach.